Various Items 

Dobson to set record straight

Dr James DobsonA PROMINENT American evangelical and campaigner on family values went on air last night to counter a false report by a British newspaper that he has given up the struggle against a tide of immorality.

Focus on the Family founder and chairman emeritus Dr. James Dobson was scheduled to appear on last night's episode of the Fox News Channel's 'Hannity' programme to set the record straight about media reports indicating he has "conceded defeat" in the so-called culture war.

Dr. Dobson requested the opportunity to appear on the show to clarify erroneous media reports that have gained nationwide attention in recent days claiming he has given up fighting for pro-family causes like the sanctity of human life and the defense of marriage.

The misinformation stemmed from a story in London's Telegraph newspaper, which quoted Dr. Dobson's comments to Focus on the Family staff in February announcing his resignation from the ministry's board of directors. His actual words were truncated and not put in their proper context to create the impression the paper wanted to create -- that he was "throwing in the towel" on standing for principles that have been his passion for more than three decades.

Under the headline 'US religious Right concedes defeat' this is what the Telegraph reported he said -- words that have been picked up by scores of other media outlets over the past few days: “We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say we have lost all those battles.”  The Telegraph report has been picked up and widely circulated across media outlets.

Here is his full quote (note the intentional dropping of his last words in the statement): "We are awash in evil and the battle is still to be waged. We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost all those battles, but God is in control and we are not going to give up now, right?" [Emphasis added]

Dr. Dobson's comments that day were an encouragement to staff to join him in continuing to fight for righteousness in the public square, even though recent events had not turned out the way he or they would have hoped. Yes, he acknowledged some momentary defeats in skirmishes in the battle for public policy that strengthens families. But that is hardly akin to "conceding defeat" in the "war." At least that's the way he meant it and his audience understood it. But the media, with their own agenda, chose to twist his words to get the story they wanted.

It is hoped that Dr. Dobson's appearance tonight on the "Hannity" programme will serve as his response to this distortion of his comments and will make clear that stepping down from the Focus board in no way means he has "retired" from the public square.

Read the full article in The Telegraph which truncated Dobson's words. It seems that the old press adage still holds true: don't let the truth stand in the way of a good story....

Christians Together, 14/04/2009

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